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If you target us, we will target whole of India: Mamata

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made it impeccably clear that if the BJP and RSS target Bengal, then she would leave no stone unturned to target the Centre, stressing on the fact that the RSS resolution on Bengal is an act of frustration as it has failed to expand its base in the state.

Speaking in an interview in a vernacular channel on Thursday, when asked about the portrayal of the deteriorating law and order situation in Bengal as claimed by the RSS, the Chief Minister said: "They are trying to create riots and are fanning religious sentiments. But people in the state are conscious. We are born in the land of Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and our religion speaks about love and friendship and we will follow the path shown by them."

When asked to comment on the statement of the RSS that "Bengal is their next target," she said the BJP and RSS were doing this as they were scared of the Trinamool Congress. "I have been targeted because I have criticised and raised my voice against demonetisation and despite so much pressure I have taken steps to develop Bengal. The BJP is spreading false and baseless news."

She was asked about the RSS adopting a resolution on the situation in Bengal and calling upon the people to counter the Banerjee government's vote-bank politics. Targeting the Centre over its claim that black money was eradicated following demonetisation, the Trinamool Congress supremo wondered how black money was recovered during the UP Assembly elections if it was wiped out. "If they are claiming that demonetisation stopped black money, then how was black money seized in the elections by the Election Commission," she asked.

She also added that an MP from some other party had called her up to inform that "they were telling people that I was born in a Muslim family. But people are watching everything and will give a befitting reply." She added: "If they (BJP) target Bengal, we will target India."

Banerjee stood beside poet Srijato Bandyopadhyay against whom a Hindutva group has lodged an FIR for writing a poem allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments.

"There will be no problem and I will take full care. I have asked the police to conduct an investigation into the matter and submit the report to me. Do not worry," she said. Banerjee added that a particular political party, which has taken up "saffronising", was behind lodging the complaint and threatening the poet on a social networking site.

She said: "They are threatening him (Srijato). He has been threatened in a worst manner. A particular political party is threatening him. I will take the names of those who are up to saffronising. They are threatening everybody."

The Chief Minister said that the complainant, who filed the FIR against Srijato, belonged to the "Gouriki Sangha". Stressing on the fact that the police would check if the complaint filed against Srijato was "genuine or not," she assured that the law would take its own course.

"You have written a poem. It's my opinion but whether someone will like it or not it is absolutely their own choice... Then nothing will happen to Srijato," she observed.

Srijato had posted a 12-line poem on his Facebook page on March 19, the day Yogi Adityanath was sworn as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

"I'm not satisfied with the result of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. This is beyond all arithmetic. Whether they accept it or not, demonetisation had had a negative effect. Agriculture and the unorganised sectors have been badly hit," she said adding the Mayawati should go to court against manipulation of the EVMs." She felt that "Akhilesh and Mayawati should work together against the BJP."

Asked whether she will concentrate more on national politics, she explained: "I am a small person but let's see how the situation develops in the country."

On the Narada sting operation probe, Banerjee made it clear that the operation conducted by a journalist (whose name she did not take) was "doctored." She added: "We want a thorough investigation into the matter to know who had financed the person and why did he release the sting operation on March 12, 2016, just days before the Assembly election and how the video could be released from the BJP office."

Banerjee admitted that "giving the Rajya Sabha ticket to K D Singh was a blunder". He had "business in Bengal and had stake in Aakash Bangla.

I made him a Rajya Sabha MP. It was a mistake. But I do not have any connection with him now."

Banerjee said she was in favour of the CBI inquiry but there "should not be any political vendetta."

She further added: "I know Sudipda is innocent and still he has been kept behind bars." She reiterated that her leaders did not take any bribe. "The question of taking bribe does not occur as there was no company. They had allowed him as he had gone posing as a journalist."

Regarding the Teesta agreement, Banerjee said she was absolutely oblivious. "I have not been informed till date. I have very cordial relations with Bangladesh and that is why I was keen to ink the agreement to transfer the enclaves. But I cannot sacrifice the interests of my state or else people will blame me."

There have been a lot of measures taken up by the state government regarding recent cases of medical negligence. Voicing her concern regarding the same, the Chief Minister said she is not against any doctor but those who are negligent and do not serve the people will not be spared. She added that there were doctors in state-run hospitals who were serving around eight crore people. "I salute them and believe that 99 percent doctors are good and they serve the people but for 1 percent of their colleagues, they earn a really bad name. This is unfortunate. The doctors who serve people should not feel scared. The West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Act is not against the doctors but against the nursing homes that do not serve people but only do business."

She reiterated that there was overbilling by some private healthcare establishments. She added that for years together she had been receiving complaints about exorbitant bills by some private nursing homes. "This is true. Where from people will get so much money to pay the bills. I will ask them not to give inflated bills," she said. The CM added that the Apollo authorities had assured her in a recent meeting that they would rectify their faults.

On the recent incident of Bhangar in South 24 Parganas, she said some builders had incited the people of three villages.

Banerjee said steps would be taken to reduce accidents on Durgapur Expressway. "Reckless driving should stop and drivers must have patience," she added.
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